MSc Insights and Innovation student Megan O’Driscoll shares her experience
I’m Megan O’Driscoll and I am enrolled in the MSc Insights and Innovation programme.
I am currently on the last chapter of my DCU MSc journey with my final dissertation due at the end of March. Over the course of the programme, I can say that I have developed the skills to capture and curate intelligence in order to generate insights and drive new product development within a business. I am currently working in Dawn Farms, a cooked protein ingredients company, on my placement as their Consumer Insights Manager.
My role at Dawn Farms involves capturing and curating data and extracting relevant insights relevant to Dawn Farms’ commercial model and customer requirements. I am a core member of the NPD team where my job is to drive product development using real consumer and product insights. I translate these insights into new ‘wow’ protein concepts customised for their key accounts. Another aspect of my job is storytelling along with selling our latest product ideas and concept to customers. I regularly present the most recent insights and trends relevant to our customers and collaborate closely with the Marketing Teams on various digital communication and campaigns.
Looking back over the year there are several modules that have really stood to me but one in particular – ‘Consumer Insight Generation’ taught by Eadaoin McCarthy. In this module, I learned about the FUSE insight model (Find, understand, synthesis, execute). Recently I have been able to apply this model to the development of Dawn Farms’ new BBQ product range. As part of this range, we will launch 6 new product concepts based on real and tested consumer and product insight.
The NPD team and I used the FUSE insight model in the following way:
- Finding how consumers’ behaviours are evolving as we enter 2022
- Finding consumer data on BBQ (likes/dislikes/perceptions…)
- Translating this data into relevant insights for Dawn Farms
- Understanding who is our customer and who is their consumer through conversations, observation, research, and personas
- Finding out what’s trending/popular out on the market based on infield research with several food safaris across Dublin and London
- Brainstorming with cross functional teams
- Ideation sessions on what’s the next biggest thing in BBQ
- Capability match and criteria for e.g., can we do it and does it fit our strategy?
- Create prototypes
- Testing products
- Present the new BBQ range internally
- Present the new range to customers/ selling the insight and the solution
- Take on board any feedback
- Iterative approach – make amendments based on feedback
Since the programme, I have a much broader perspective of the Irish Food Industry. I now understand the importance of insights in all aspects of my career and how important it is to always be learning, gathering data, curating, talking to people from different functions, areas, and industries to broaden my perspective and become inspired. This programme opened my eyes to other commercial fields such as Marketing, Insights & NPD. The programme has also enabled me to discover a new appreciation for research and storytelling.
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